Practical Steps to Forgiveness
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Do you know how to forgive? Is it just me? People throw around the “just forgive” phrase and I am still sitting there asking how as they walked away. Completely stumped. I know I’m suppose to forgive; the real life steps on how to forgive was beyond me.
There are practical steps to forgiving others that each Christian should take into consideration when needing to forgive others and when instructing others to forgive.
The weight of the deep pain is hard enough, but covering others with guilt and shame, because they are struggling to forgive, is another level of sadness.
Like me, perhaps, they don’t truly understand the process of forgiving.
I needed details. I needed practical instructions on what the process of forgiving looks like and what the steps are to accomplish this to honor God.
How to Forgive? What are the steps to forgiveness?
From my experience, studying, counseling sessions and praying – here are the steps I’ve put into place that have been pivotal to me and I hope they help you.
Steps on How to Forgive Someone
Step One: Pray. Realize you can not muster up the strength and will power on your own to forgive someone that has so ever deeply cut into your soul.
You can’t. It’s going before God, humble, crying out saying you know you are suppose to forgive, but are overcome with pain and anger and you NEED God’s help in forgiving this person.
A process of lamenting. Telling God of the heartache, pain, betrayal and saying see this God. This pain. It hurts deeply. Never stuffing or sucking it up, but taking your pain to God and weeping over it.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Step Two: Release this person to God
In prayer, release this person and situation to God. For example pray: God, I release “_______” from the pain they have caused me. The whole situation and everyone involved. I give them over to you. I forgive them for “______”. I forgive “______” for “________”. (verbally speak out their name and that you forgive them and what you forgive them from.) Please forgive me for holding any bitterness in my heart towards this person and this matter. In the name of Jesus I pray, AMEN. Ephesians 4:31
Step Three: EVERYDAY FORGIVE. Choose to forgive.
This one was key for me. There is no such thing as only having to work on forgiveness, one time, on this one day. It is an everyday practice. That is vital here.
Everyday you must choose to forgive this person. Every time the enemy brings up the hurt, pain, and bad memory you go before God with your prayer for help and forgiveness. Repeatedly. Over and over. Day after day. Moment after moment. Back it up with scripture too.
Find scripture on forgiveness, guarding your thoughts, and remind yourself how much God loves and cares for you.
Memorize the scriptures on forgiveness so that you may recall them on the bad days when the pain hurts deeper than most.
Yes, everyday, you go before God and with a contrite heart share with Him the pain and release it to Him. Release the situation and the person. Verbally speaking out your prayer.
There is not a timeline of how quickly your healing will happen. Some will heal quickly and others not so quickly.
And that’s ok.
As long as your heart is right before the Lord, contrite, humble, and no bitterness, it is okay.
“Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Isaiah 66:2
Remembering that God is near the brokenhearted Psalm 34:18.
When I was able to grasp this truth, forgiveness didn’t seem so far fetched and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I share my 3 steps to forgiveness with you only in hopes that this helps those of you that are like me in needing practical steps in place to be able to work on honoring God in forgiving others.
It’s hard when someone cuts us deep into our soul. Please know that God sees, He cares and you can be free from the pain, un-forgiveness and bitterness.
How do you forgive someone who has hurt you emotionally?
Here’s how to forgive someone who hurt you emotionally.
- Pray first. Ask God to help you heal.
- Don’t rush or force it. When someone hurts you, allow yourself to feel the emotions.
- Understand why you need to let go.
- Live in the present.
- Set heathy boundaries.
- Don’t take things personally.
- Let go of your expectations.
- Learn from the experience.
Completing the Steps to Forgiveness
One day you will wake up and find yourself thinking differently about the one who hurt you. You may never like or trust this person, but the intensity of your hurt will diminish. One day you will find yourself praying for your offender. Soon you will realize you are free. Forgiveness is the road to freedom. But it makes little sense unless seen in the context of Christ’s forgiveness toward you. – Stuart Rothberg
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